Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State, has signed the Ekiti State Security Network Agency Bill called Amotekun Corps into law.
At the event attended by traditional rulers, members of Vigilance Group of Nigeria, hunters, and Oodua People’s Congress, Fayemi warned criminals to steer clear of Ekiti, boasting that, “Amotekun Corps will get you wherever you hide”.
Fayemi who spoke at the signing of the passed bill into law in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, said the assent will give legal backing to the operation of Amotekun in Ekiti.
The governor said the resilience of Ekiti kete and Yoruba race brought the security outfit to full operation, describing the scenario leading to the consummation of Amotekun corps as a novel since the advent of democracy in 1999.
“Since the advent of democracy in 1999, this is the first time when Yoruba people will speak with one voice without political or religious considerations”, he said.
Speaking about the event leading to the formation of the corps, Fayemi said: “As a responsible and responsive government, we believe that security is significant, and we won’t toy with security of lives and property.
“The current challenges of proliferation of small arms, ritual killings, banditry, youth restiveness, cattle rustling, insurgency, and terrorism are daunting.
“In tackling some of these menaces, which surfaced in the southwest region, the governors in the zone officially launched Western Nigeria Security Network in Ibadan on Jan 20, 2020, at and the bill that will form the legal framework was passed by the State House of Assembly.
“Let me clarify that Amotekun will help the police to arrest, gather intelligence and information, arrest and prosecution of criminals, tackle illegal mining, land trespass, cattle rustling, destruction of crops, trespass into farmlands, cultism, highway robbery, among others.
“Amotekun is not a substitute for the existing security networks, but a compliment to it. It is not for Ekiti people alone, but everybody. As long as you are a resident in Ekiti, you enjoy the right to be protected, so it is not for the indigenes alone.
“Crime fighting is a collective responsibility. Those perpetrating crimes are living among us and let us be vigilant and help the Amotekun Corps fish out criminals in our midst”, he said.
Fayemi promised that the handlers of Amotekun will be thorough with the issues of recruitment, training, and deployment of the operatives, for efficiency and effectiveness of the network.
“The issues of recruitment, training, and deployment will be carefully considered. All the operatives will work in areas where they understand better”.
Charging the royal fathers to coalesce efforts with the security network to rid the state of criminals at the grassroots, the governor said: “We are sure that we are going to make a success of this. Tell criminals to stay away from Ekiti, because Ametekun will get them wherever they hide”, he boasted.
The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, said the homogeneity of Yoruba race, in terms of politics, culture and history made the Amotekun gained traction in the southwest region.
” It is clear that the police are overwhelmed, overstretched and overburdened. This is where the concept behind Amotekun stemmed from. I want to also douse the tension and clarify that it won’t compete with police but will complement it”, he said.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Council of traditional rulers, Oba Adebanji Alabi, described the signing of the bill as Epochal and worthy of celebration.
“You could all remember the events leading to kidnapping, banditry, destruction of crops in the southwest. It was like the region was under siege.
“The governor, Dr. Kayoe Fayemi and other colleagues championed the course and worked hard to achieve this success despite encumbrances and obstacles.
“But for Amotekun to be a success, it rests on three things, the recruitment, which must be painstakingly done. The Government and the Obas must make sure we have round pegs in round holes.
“Number two is training; they must be properly trained, groomed in the act of security, information, and intelligence gathering, how to guard against sabotage among other skills required of them. The third one is good and strategic deployment so that we won’t have security operatives that will be ineffective and kleptomaniac”, he advised.
The Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON), Mr. Amire Kolade and the coordinator of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Mr. Akin Olorunloni, promised that they would work zealously and assiduously with the corps for Ekiti to become a no- go- area for criminals.